VIETNAM – JAPAN EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2019
Reporter: Lê Thị Ngọc Nhung
Ho Chi Minh City, 20th September 2019
First of all, I want to express my deeply thanks to Pr. Akinori Seki and the Organization Board for giving me such a golden opportunity to join in this meaningful program VJEP 2019. This makes my university life becomes more interesting and I can gain a lot of value from the program especially the friendly environmental message and connection.
To be honest, I was really attracted by the topic of this year – SGDs focused on the environment. The environment is becoming not only the problems of any individual but also the global concern that requires higher awareness from the society and everyone should work hand in hand to protect it right away. I have learned a lot about the alarming environmental pollution caused by the increasing amount of plastics waste theoretically. My teacher told us to use plastic less but I did not take this seriously until I decided to apply for this program because I wanted to challenge myself whether I can change my plastics using habit or not. Everything came and exceeded my expectation from the smallest thing like using lunch box or personal bottle for meals to the camping in the Bu Gia Map National Forest.
Although the lunch box or personal bottle is just a minus detail during the program, I suppose this is the key point imprinted on my mind until now. That reminds us to think of the environment every second and the world can be changed from the smallest thing like this. After going back to university, I love to bring my personal bottle that I received at the last party night every day and I also tell my family and friends to use them, too. I think this is the success of the program and a big hit for me.
Camping in Bu Gia Map National Forest was really out of this world. I have never got such an amazing experience before and from that moment I found my true love of nature and love for my beloved country. I was sure that everyone had the same feeling as me. I couldn't imagine the worst scenario to the environment and those forests if we keep devastating and littering. Walking in the jungle for nearly 3 hours,
I also got the knowledge about different types of creatures and some of them can be made into medicine thanks to the introduction of the tourist guide. Unforgettable memories were here with my friends when we had to confront leeches everywhere and in the end, we got familiar with this fear and knew how to overcome it. Luckily, we survived.
The second value is the connection. As we can see from the name of the program, exchange culture is the core value that brings students from Japan and Vietnam closer. This is the first time that I meet Japanese friends or really get access to the Japanese culture so I was very excited and a little bit worried. I learned how to deal with the language barrier because I don’t know Japanese so it is very hard for me to find the same interest with the others and start the conversation with them. However, that motivates me to come out of my own shell and be more confident. Besides English, I realized that a sense of humor can be considered as a tool to connect everyone. The more games we play, the closer we are. Conflicts are unavoidable but learning how to overcome it is much more important. Working in a team means that we need to put collective interests above our personal interests. From now on, I have a lot of lovely friends and they are a part of my youth. We smiled a lot and did crazy things together. Two weeks was not too long but it was time for me to be exactly who I am without stress from life.
Individually, this program helps me to realize that I can do more things than I have ever thought. I was in charge of the lecture at the primary school. At first, I didn’t know how to convey the message to the students as being a teacher and some problems occurred when some of the products we prepared were lost. I still remembered that I had to change the content many times and I felt extremely stressful. After moving to the school, I was so surprised because of the friendliness and loveliness students. They didn’t wear beautiful clothes, some of them couldn’t keep studying because of financial problems and harsh living condition but smiles never stopped on their faces. In this remote area, just a small number of students can go to school. I felt sympathy for them and they were ones giving more energy to do my best in the lecture because I wanted to bring them something and at least inspire them. I hope that although this is just a small lesson and a few minutes to meet them, from the bottom of my heart, I wish they could be successful in the future and keep studying.
To sum up, I never regret to join in this program which becomes a remarkable point in my life. I have a lot of things: friends, knowledge, connections, and experiences.
And now it is my turn to tell my stories to the other to inspire them and tell them what I get from the program. VJEP 2019 change my life and you too.